Stop police extralegal killings now: HURIWA tells president

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The prominent civil Rights advocacy group – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to take concrete measures to stem the rising trend of police extrajudicial killings of Nigerians.

The Rights group also wants president Muhammadu Buhari to unveil the membership of the governing council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) so the Rights agency can be effectively and efficiently administered for the comprehensive purposes of implementing practical measures to prosecute errant trigger-happy police operatives responsible for numerous cases of extra-legal killings of Nigerians and suspects in police facilities.

“We were thinking that the recent visit to Nigeria for almost one week by the United Nations special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard after which she made shocking revelations of unprecedented cases of police arbitrary executions could have compelled the president and the National Assembly to take measures to check the unfortunate scenarios but this government has not”.

HURIWA through the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and National media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf also totally condemned the killing by the rogue special anti-robbery squad (SARS) of a civilian member of a vigilante group in Onitsha, Anambra state, has immediately asked president Buhari to name and inaugurate the governing council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to save the body from imminent collapse. 

HURIWA reminded government that the United Nations even confirmed through The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings that Nigeria’s     overall situation that she encountered in Nigeria gives rise to extreme concern. By many measures, the Federal authorities and the international partners are presiding over an injustice pressure cooker. Some of the specific contexts I examined are simmeringwe must be worried that the UN said the warning signs are flashing bright red: increased numbers of attacks and killings over the last five years with a few notable exceptions; increased criminality and spreading insecurity; widespread failure by the federal authorities to investigate and hold perpetrators to account, even for mass killings; a lack of public trust and confidence in the judicial institutions and State institutions more generally; high levels of resentment and grievances within and between communities; toxic ethno-religious narratives and “extremist” ideologies – characterized by dehumanization of the “others” and denial of the legitimacy of the others’ claims; a generalized break down of the rule of law, with particularly acute consequences for the most vulnerable and impoverished populations of Nigeria “We are worried that even with the indictment of the police the killings continued. HURIWA said the Special Rapporteur had concluded that the absence today of accountability functionality is on such a scale that pretending this is anything short of a crisis is a major mistake. It is a tragedy”.

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